EAT­ING T

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

HERE were three of us so the chal­lenge was on to find some­where that would ap­peal to a 12-yearold boy ... and his par­ents. Son Harry joined my­self and wife Ruth on our lat­est quest to find a res­tau­rant that can tick the right boxes.

We’d known of The Fire­house in Sowerby Bridge for years but never quite got round to go­ing there.

Well, this was the chance and a look at the menu on its com­pre­hen­sive web­site was cer­tainly a promis­ing start.

It’s split into four sec­tions – tapas, burg­ers, pizza and what’s know as ‘The Grill.’

There is a say­ing ‘you can’t please all the peo­ple all the time.’

This menu looked like it was out to prove that wrong.

Sowerby Bridge has more than its fair share of restau­rants and it’s less than three miles from the bot­tom of Calderdale Way. A 10-minute drive from there ... if that.

The Fire­house oc­cu­pies a prime lo­ca­tion on a cor­ner on the main street. And what’s this out­side? Old Vic­to­rian street lamps to add to the sense you’re ven­tur­ing into the past.

It’s a place that has an im­me­di­ately cosy, re­lax­ing yet fa­mil­iar feel the mo­ment you walk in. The dark green walls and ex­posed wood cap­ture the his­tory of this old build­ing.

We went up the spi­ral stair­case to the up­stairs part of the res­tau­rant. The at­mos­phere is the past, com­pleted with the retro vin­tage lights. We’ll have none of your mod­ern ways here.

Some of the seats are even old uphol­stered and have scat­ter cush­ions on them. Told you there was a nat­u­ral, homely at­mos­phere.

The menu dou­bles as the place mat and is ex­cep­tion­ally clearly laid out.

Harry went for burger – but no or­di­nary burger This was wild boar (£12) with pulled chicken, caramelised red onion, Gruyere cheese on a brioche bun and, for an ex­tra £2, up­graded to Loaded Fries (nor­mally £5.50) which are chips smoth­ered in bar­be­cue pulled chicken, spring onion, melted ched­dar and Amer­i­can mus­tard.

A tri­umphant choice as he hailed it the best burger he’d ever had and, you know, he was right. It re­ally was top notch. The meat was packed with nat­u­ral flavour yet had a cer­tain light­ness to it and the chips were just some­thing else. It just goes to show your hum­ble chip doesn’t have to be ‘ever so hum­ble.’ The house­bread was home­made and came with bal­samic vine­gar and olive oil to dip in. A bril­liant bread, this was Parme­san cheese and rocket and took bread to a dif­fer­ent level. The lit­tle dish of oil and bal­samic was too small but was quickly re­filled when we asked for more. We also went tapas with stuffed field mush­rooms (£4.90) fea­tur­ing pine nut, blue cheese and bread­crumb crust with pesto-dressed rocket; Seafood Jam­bal­aya (£7.40) fea­tur­ing king prawns, seabass, crab, chorizo, mixed pep­pers, red onion and cayenne pep­per; Suck­ling Pig (£7.40), slow braised with herb and lemon juices, and Lamb Kofta (£5.60) with home­made gar­lic flat­bread and tzatziki.

Three large mush­rooms were not over­pow­ered by the cheese, while the Kofta was served very dry and needed the tzatziki and also came with a fancy home­made coleslaw.

The suck­ling pig was a good­sized square with a crusty top and eas­ily came apart once we dug in. By its very na­ture it’s a salty dish and the sauce is in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful.

The seafood jam­bal­aya was per­fect, packed to the gun­nels with flavour rang­ing from light seabass to the heavy taste of a strong chorizo. All in all a ta­ble packed with a di­verse range of tex­tures and flavours.

The piz­zas looked good too and one that stood out on the menu was Moroc­can Lamb (£10.90) ground spiced lamb with pine nut, green pep­pers and pecorino (a hard Ital­ian cheese).

A 10oz sir­loin steak is £17 while an 8oz fil­let steak is £22. A new menu is on its way shortly. Ser­vice was ex­cel­lent and if you ven­ture down to the toi­lets then ad­mire the wine cel­lar half­way down.

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